The player plays as SpongeBob (who has swapped bodies with Patrick due to Sandy's teleporter malfunctioning, whose goal is to collect the parts needed to fix the teleporter and swap back bodies with Patrick again. The player needs to move the joystick in the direction they want to move in, and they need to click the action button in order to interact with various objects, characters, and enemies. The player has three lives that can be increased by finding hearts in chests.
Throughout the game, there are items the player can collect. Some of these progress the story, but other are optional. There are treasure chests scattered throughout the game that have various items inside (either optional treasures relating to the series' past or hearts that increase the maximum number of hearts. The player can also find Giant clams that have pearls inside, which can be used to by upgrades and clothing at Clamu's shop.
In total, the player can have up to five lives, there are 12 treasures to find, and 28 characters to interact with.
Each treasure and character has a short bio that gives the player information about them.
There aren't enough pearls to purchase everything in Clamu's shop; the player will be three pearls short.